The Time of Animals / 25th Hour
by KAIMIN & GAVIN RUSSOM
Sounds and video were indispensable components in making Volume 02 a multi-sensory experience. Two audio tracks and short films are integrated within a USB device designed to fit into Vol 02 book package. New York based musician, writer and producer Gavin Russom composed twin original tracks, using vocals and lyrics by Kaimin, that transform Volume 02's "THEM" and "HER", to create two short colorless films that reveals the depth, lust and rage that are so dynamically depicted in Aldridge's images for Zero Zero Vol 02.
"When I began writing the music for the Zero Zero I tried to hold onto the very first sounds that came into my mind when I saw the images and heard the concept. It was very quick, visceral reaction in my body that manifested in sounds; deep thumping basses and dripping drones on the black side, and hissing ghost like organ tones and menacing knocks on the white side. I thought about what someone would hear in their mind while engaging in ecstatic ritual murder. Withe the addition of Kai's vocal performance I tried to create a softened boundary between the inner and outer voice, blurring fantasy and reality and the unfathomable inner world with an external expression of complex desire. Each piece instantly focuses energy on the subject at hand, and hopefully the listener is terrified and also awakened, drawn into the web of the sound even though it might make them uncomfortable, unable to turn away until the ceremony is complete"
- Gavin Russom
THEM / HER
by POROCHISTA KHAKPOUR
We are the men of the night and we are yours. We were children once, can you believe, we were children once, but she was born as she was. We are ordinary, in spite of our clothes, the nets, the skins, the shine and gloss and fur and grit, we are ordinary. We are ordinary, in spite of our perfect bones, our glowing skin, our shiny hair, our eyes, our smiles, we are ordinary. We are men, we are everywhere. We are ordinary in spite of sex love theater dance ritual festival pandemonium mayhem, we are ordinary in spite of occasions and celebrations and affiliations. We are ordinary in spite of her, because of her, before her. We are yours.
It was precisely at the eight day of the week, the 25th hour, the 366th day of the year, when she took us there. One of us said, “Where are we going?” She told us to be quiet, to follow her, to trust, but just moments before she had told us there is no trust in life. One of us said, Have we gone too far? Another said, Are we about to go to far? We could smell fear, it’s feathery musk here and there, come and go, and we did our best to conceal it, lest she sense it.
We need her. What would we be if we lost her.
She is taking us down to a room under the ground, below a long winding staircase, inside a space in a corner down an alley we never knew existed. She said, first, last, first, last, first, last. Do you understand? We tried not to think too hard. Outside the moon was reddish in cast—there had been more deaths that day than usual, disasters of weather, disasters of men, all around the city and country and great big weeping earth—and we tried to ignore omens. One of us said, Who are we to her anyway? But no answered. We were men, children once, friends, lovers, hers. There was a feeling that one of us had betrayed her, but none of us dared ask.
Down in the room, there were men and more men. They seemed to come from unseen cracks, corridors hidden, here and there, men like us. Ordinary men, in spite of their height and looks and education and money.
She stood at the center of it all. One of us asked, is this a game? One of us asked again, is this a game? She did not like that question—it was not time for that question—but good as she is, she nodded. The rules of the game are anything can happen but you don’t say love, she said. There is no love.
Everything is desire but there is no love do you understand do you understand.
We had no problem with this. We wanted her, we all wanted her, that is definite, but we did not want love. We lived in the time when most of us tried to hide from love. We could not afford to move back, we could not afford to be brought down, we could not afford to get stuck. We had to move, move on, and on and on.
She counted on men for being able to handle that, unlike women, whom she preferred, it was said.
We were in a world without women, but that woman who was all women.
One of us said, We’re never going to get out of here, and we did not know if it was said out of fear or dread or joy or was simply a statement.
You won’t want to, she said.
And then came the music, from where we did not know, and despite the beats, the thrash, the bass and synth, it was ordinary, we needed to believe it was all ordinary. And then came glasses, filled, and dishes, pilled, and we took and took and took, as she wanted us to, all the so many of us, the one of her—
I can’t do this like this.
—and we tried to imagine the time of parties and clubs and men and women dancing and women and women dancing and men and men dancing and maybe even animals dancing—the time of animals even—we tried to imagine the time of turntables and speakers and vinyl, and we tried to act like we were in that time. We did what we believed they did. We brushed up against each other, we ground up against each other, we held each other, we pushed each other, we slapped each other, we strangled and we fucked each other, we did all this and no one said love. We tried to be as ordinary as you could knowing this would be the last.
I can’t do this.
Can you believe we were children once, in that world, children once in the time of computers and cars and kids and candies, children once in a world equally lit by day. Can you believe this could have killed us before, but nothing can kill us now, which is why we don’t believe her when she says this is the last. There is no last. How can anything end, when you live in the end. There is no trust, she had said.
The songs sang of women, always of women, and what they could do, what could be done to them, and we found them quaint. We thought of this world of women and what could happen in it, the world when we were children, and we continued to dance and push and tug and rub and choke and fuck til—
But I can do this.
It’s dawn and world is so bright it’s blinding. The smell of fear is gone. Don’t you remember what it was like when you were children? Nothing bad happens in the day, they used to say.
You don’t believe me.
There are only a few left. The strongest. The stupidest. The ones who don’t know when to stop. The ones who want me most. The ones who played by the rules. The ones who don’t know love.
They are the ones for me.
Sometimes I want so much, want and want and want, that I take it all, and all and all and all, and then—it’s gone. What then?
And there are some games you have to play with the light on, in the white-hot shame of the world.
First: your eyes, then your ears, then your hands, then your tongue, then your nose.
In my dream there was a young girl in the perfect midpoint of afternoon, in a short skirt, tying her shoes against a tree. This is a dream I dream and dream and dream. It’s from another world, one we have no use for. I try to get back to that place all the time—I try to close my eyes, smell grass and sky and earth and rain and all that is sweetness . . .but there is only all that used to be want, that is now what you are left with after your want has taken it all.
What to do with the aftermath? I have no use for clipped nails, shed hair, flaked skin. I have no use for the shells. I have no use for a body without a pulse.
Because I had said it clearly: there is no love and there is no hate, and there is no god and there is no death, and anything can happen. One had asked, Are we going to go too far? But anything can happen.
There is one thing on my mind.
Are you mine or are you mine?
And can you live through the want of mine?
(I lied about the dream. Who dreams anymore.)
It brought you closer to me, it reminded you that I am that thing that no longer is: woman. That thing you came out of—you were children once, did you know that—that thing that made you, that thing that is no longer.
There is only me.
What will you do about it?
There is nothing ordinary about me.
I will take you and I will take you and I will take you and you too. I will begin with your skin and then your muscle and then the fat and finally the bones. I will begin and end with your blood.
Look at what I can do.
Last: your eyes, then your ears, then your hands, then your tongue, then your nose.
Can you please live through this?
Shall we take it slow and shall we make it gentle and shall we pretend this is forever and shall we think back to the past and shall we act like we used to? Shall I let you take me over, shall I get you on top of me, shall I let you take my wrists, shall I give you my neck, shall I let you spread my legs, shall I let you inside, shall we do it the way it used to go, shall we even say love—
There is no too far when you are too far.
It’s dusk and the world is so red it’s burning. I can barely hear you in the screams of past present and future, predecessors and successors, ancestors and offspring, all we are is blood on blood on blood on blood. And I can barely hear you when in the red hot desire of the world, there are so many words that mean so much, everything consuming itself from too much meaning until finally—and look what I’ve done.
Alone. This is how we were meant to be, someone said. But in my head how it plays, it really plays: what to do when it’s done?
I’m not good like this.
I think I needed you.
From nothing I came, from nothing I return—and this might scare me.
Alone. I think from somewhere that is not my mind, not simply memory, maybe somewhere still in the body, I can still hear you and you and you.
I don’t understand you, none of you, but I can take it in, the chorus of yous, the final pleas.
They cut the air like blades through smoke, and I will never understand:
We love you still.
- POROCHISTA KHAKPOUR